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UCLA's Johnny Juzang Declares for 2021 NBA Draft, Will Retain Eligibility

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2021

UCLA guard Johnny Juzang runs up court after making a basket during the second half of an Elite 8 game against Michigan in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

UCLA star Johnny Juzang announced Tuesday he intends to enter the 2021 NBA draft while leaving the door open for a return to the Bruins. 

"I am going [to] continue to work and give the passion I always have and see where it takes me," Juzang wrote. "I'll then make an informed decision. Blessings!"

Juzang was a 4-star recruit and the No. 33 player in 247Sports' composite rankings coming out of high school, but he struggled to make an impact in his freshman season at Kentucky. Following his transfer to UCLA, the California native blossomed while playing close to home.

In 27 games, the 6'6" guard averaged 16.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 44.1 percent from the floor and 35.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Juzang saved some of his best performances for the NCAA tournament. He dropped 28 points on Michigan in the Elite Eight and finished with 29 points and six rebounds in the Bruins' overtime loss to Gonzaga in the Final Four.

ESPN's Jonathan Givony provided a brief scouting report:

"The 20-year-old Juzang is intriguing to NBA teams due to his combination of size, standing 6-foot-7, and shot-making ability. He proved to be a difficult matchup for college wings to handle in one-on-one situations with his ability to score with his back to the basket, elevate in midrange spots, shoot off screens and make pull-up 3-pointers."

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As much as he did to improve his draft stock in the Big Dance, suiting up for the Bruins in 2021-22 might be Juzang's best move. Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman didn't rank him among the 50 best players in the upcoming draft class, while The Athletic's Sam Vecenie pegged him at No. 60.